|scientific name Pyrgus ruralis |
common name Two-banded Checkered Skipper
Dry, low-elevation (montane) meadows and gravel flats along water courses.
Most common from late May to mid June, with one brood annually.
Superficially similar to the other checkered skippers; Smaller and fewer white markings than the Common Checkered Skipper (P. communis). Similar to the rare Small Checkered Skipper (P. scriptura), but the ranges do not overlap: scriptura is known only from the Milk River valley of extreme southern Alberta.
P. ruralis is most likely to be confused with the Grizzled Skipper (P. centaureae) in the Mountains. To separate these two, look at the upperside hindwing spots: P. ruralis has two rows of sharply outlined white spots, while centaureae has poorly defined, smudged white spots. P. ruralis is also slightly smaller, and is usually restricted to low-elevation, dry montane habitats.
The eggs are green or yellow (Bird et al. 1995), but nothing is else is known about the immature stages.
Not of concern.
It is unknown what larval hostplants P. ruralis uses in Alberta. In the US, herbaceous members of the rose family such as Horkelia and Potentilla drummondii have been reported (Layberry et al. 1998). Females lay eggs on wild strawberry in Victoria, BC (Guppy & Shepard 2001).
This skipper is primarily a northwestern species, occurring from southwestern Alberta west to the Pacific coast and south to California and Colorado (Opler 1999). It is found north to the Nordegg region in the major mountain river valleys in Alberta (Bird et al. 1995).
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